June 27, 2017

E3 2017 - Hands on with Everybody's Golf and Matterfall

E3 officially begins on the Tuesday, but as you will know, most of the press conferences happen the day before and that is when PlayStation have their Showcase event. Before the event kicks off, they do invite people in to play some games and enjoy some food and drink, which is very nice of them. It is at this year’s event where I got to go hands on with both Everybody’s Golf and Matterfall and here are my impressions.

Kicking things off with Everybody’s Golf, the next entry in the long running PlayStation golf series, while time with the game was small, it was still fun. Hitting the ball has you pressing X to begin the slider moving across the screen, before it starts to head back to the starting position, when you press X again to launch your ball. Press it to early and you will slice the ball, too late and you will hook it and if you are way off, you will get almost no distance. 

The games biggest addition this time is that you can wander between holes, no more are you going to be stuck watching loading screens between holes, once you sink that birdie, you can head on over to the next hole yourself. Given this freedom, there would need to be more for players to do than just golf and it seems that the team at Camelot Software are doing that, after you create your own character, you can interact with other real players on the greens. Even if that does not appeal to you, there are also a series of mini games to be found, keeping the fun coming for a while anyway.

While golf is not a game that appeals to a lot of people, the more relax and simplistic nature of Everybody’s Golf should draw more people in, the upside of course to this is that the game is out this August.

Matterfall is something completely different, made by the team that crafted the incredible Super Stardust and Resogun, Housemarque are taking their intense action roots and attaching it to a metroidvania inspired world and it looks good. The game is a platformer, but is going to imbue itself with the score attack style of game that the developer is known for, but drawing inspiration from games like Turrican and Gunstar Heroes.

The gameplay is a little slower paced at times than their past games, but don’t let that fool you, there are times when it can become super intense. What is helping the game be a little different, at least for me is that if you take Mega Man, combine it with a Metroid world and add in some cool movement mechanics, you are getting something different, yet with a foot still planted in familiar. There are these walls, made out of semi-transparent blue bricks that you can’t walk through, you can shoot through them though, but if you try to walk through them, you can’t, in order to get around them, you need to dash through them.

Your player can double jump, thanks to a small jetpack on his back, but can also dash in any direction, sometimes you will need to dash up, other times to the side and that is just with the platforming. If you dash into enemies, you can stun them for a short while, which in turn allows you to take aim and take them down, perfect if there are a lot of them on screen. The stun dash move only impacts those right near you, so you will still need to be sure that you can take them out without issue.

The game does not offer a minimap though, so it’s very much like the original Metroid in that sense, but unlike that game, there are only a few small sections you can explore, with the bulk of the game having you go from left to right all the time. In addition, the blue walls that I mentioned before can also appear to be empty, but you can fill them in with the matter that you collect, from around the world and defeating enemies. The game looks nice, but when the studio is known for ostensibly twin stick shooters, I wonder how a platformer will handle, though there is not long to go until we find out, as Matterfall is out August 16th.

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